I-95 Northbound bridge to reopen in FXBG

November 3, 2023 | Fredericksburg Business News |

From VDOT:

The Virginia Department of Transportation will reopen the original Interstate 95 northbound bridge over the Rappahannock River in mid-November, doubling capacity in the Fredericksburg area ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Starting early Thursday, Nov. 16, travelers will be able to use both I-95 northbound bridges over the Rappahannock River. At that time, traffic will be divided between local and through lanes, similar to I-95 southbound between exit 133 (Falmouth/Warrenton) in Stafford County and exit 130 (Route 3) in Fredericksburg.

Northbound I-95 drivers must decide to travel between local and through travel lanes, with a new decision point after the Fall Hill Avenue overpass at mile marker 132.

Drivers entering I-95 northbound from Route 3 in Fredericksburg will flow directly into the local lanes. These travelers will have the option to exit the local lanes after crossing the Rappahannock River at exit 133 to Route 17 or Route 17 Business or can continue north on I-95, where the local and through lanes merge together again.

Watch simulation videos demonstrating the new traffic pattern and decision points at Improve95.org.

After five years of construction in the Fredericksburg area to build the $264 million Northbound and Southbound Rappahannock River Crossing projects, there will be a total of twelve lanes of I-95 spanning the river. Construction on the I-95 Southbound Rappahannock River Crossing started in 2018 and was completed in 2022. Construction for the Northbound Rappahannock River Crossing broke ground in 2020 and will be finished by spring 2024. Maintenance work will be complete in early November on a $6.2 million bridge rehabilitation effort on the original northbound bridge.

Nearly 150,000 vehicles a day travel along I-95 in the Fredericksburg region. The new Rappahannock River Crossing projects reduce congestion by separating local traffic from regional traffic along the corridor.

Expect Northbound I-95 Delays in the Fredericksburg Area Nov. 14 – 16

Northbound I-95 travelers in the Fredericksburg area can anticipate delays starting the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 14 to move traffic into the new pattern.

I-95 will be reduced to a single lane starting before exit 130 (Route 3) and continuing north through the exit 133 interchange area between 8 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15-Wednesday, Nov. 15. The next night, Wednesday, Nov. 15-Thursday, Nov. 16, I-95 will be reduced to two lanes starting before exit 130 (Route 3) and continuing north to the Cowan Boulevard overpass.

Additional details include:

• The off-ramp to exit 133 (Falmouth/Warrenton) will be closed from 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14 to 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15.
• Only one local lane of I-95 northbound will be open during the day on Wednesday, Nov. 15 from 4:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. from the Rappahannock River to exit 133
• At the on-ramp from Route 3 to I-95 northbound, brief stops will be needed from 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15 to 4 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, although this ramp will not close.

Drivers with destinations outside of the Fredericksburg region are encouraged to seek alternate routes on these dates. During this operation, northbound travelers can use I-95 exit 104 (Carmel Church) in Caroline County to Route 207 northbound to Route 301 as an alternate route.

Weather permitting, by 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, all six northbound lanes across the river will open to traffic.

North of the river, local traffic will be reduced to two lanes approaching the exit 133 interchange. One lane will be a shared lane for drivers to choose between exiting to Route 17 or proceeding north on I-95 to merge with the through lanes.

Northbound local traffic will remain in this temporary two-lane pattern at the bridge over Route 17 until a new flyover ramp to 95 Express Lanes opens in early December.

The flyover ramp is under construction by Transurban, the operator of 95 Express Lanes, and its design-builder, Branch Flatiron Joint-Venture.

Route 3 Travelers: Temporary Access Change to Northbound 95 Express Lanes

Once I-95 northbound traffic is divided between the two bridges on Nov. 16, access to enter the northbound 95 Express Lanes will change temporarily for motorists who enter I-95 northbound from Route 3 in Fredericksburg.

Starting Nov. 16, traffic entering I-95 northbound from Route 3 will flow directly into the new local lanes and will be separated by barrier from the through lanes.

By mid-December, a new flyover ramp is anticipated to open north of exit 133 connecting the local lanes with northbound 95 Express Lanes.

Until this flyover ramp opens, for drivers entering I-95 from Route 3 or Route 17 using the new local lanes, the first entrance to access the northbound 95 Express Lanes will be north of the exit 140 (Courthouse Road) interchange in Stafford.

Through travelers can continue to use a left slip ramp to enter northbound 95 Express Lanes just north of the Rappahannock River, near exit 133.

No changes will occur for southbound 95 Express Lanes travelers. Motorists may continue to exit from 95 Express Lanes using the southernmost exit after exit 136 (Centreport Parkway) in Stafford.

By mid-December, all additional new access points to and from 95 Express Lanes will open that were built as part of the recent 10-mile extension of the lanes in the Fredericksburg area. New access includes a reversible ramp from Old Courthouse Road near exit 140 (Courthouse Road) and ramps near exit 148 (Quantico).

Construction Continues through Spring 2024

Construction on the I-95 Northbound Rappahannock River Crossing project will continue through May 2024, with a focus on the Route 17 area in Stafford. Crews will finish building turn lanes, installing sidewalk and drainage systems.

Final paving on all travel lanes of Route 17 northbound and southbound between Short Street and South Gateway Drive/Sanford Drive will occur in spring 2024.

When construction on the Rappahannock River Crossing is finished in May 2024, the final traffic pattern in this area will include:

• Fourth I-95 northbound travel lane from exit 133 to exit 136
• Third right turn lane from I-95 southbound off-ramp to Route 17 northbound
• Dual left turn lanes from northbound Route 17 to Sanford Drive
• Right turn only lane from northbound Route 17 to South Gateway Drive
• Restored third Route 17 northbound through travel lane

To provide the highest quality of pavement achievable, crews are waiting for warmer temperatures next year to finish paving the Route 17 corridor.

Additional information and driver simulation videos for the new traffic patterns can be found at Improve95.org/locals.

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